Doctors: Pensions

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 6th December 2018.

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Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the change in the pension cap on the number of (a) consultants and (b) GPs leaving the NHS.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Membership data from the NHS Pension Scheme shows the number of hospital doctors and general practitioners (GPs) claiming their pension earlier than their normal retirement age. We cannot identify consultants separately, who belong to the hospital doctor group. This group also contains associate specialists and doctors in training. However, claiming a National Health Service pension does not necessarily mean the individual has left NHS service permanently. The 'retire and return' employment flexibility enables NHS employers to support skilled and experienced staff who may otherwise retire and leave service, to continue working longer.

The following table shows the number of hospital doctors and GPs claiming their NHS pension on a voluntary early retirement basis from the 1995 NHS Pension Scheme.

Scheme Year

Hospital doctors

GPs

2010-11

286

443

2011-12

315

513

2012-13

387

591

2013-14

406

746

2014-15

453

739

2015-16

494

695

2016-17

490

721

2017-18

424

588

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